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Edison Force (2005)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres:
Crime Thriller, Post-Noir (Modern Noir), Thriller
Director:
David J. Burke David J. Burke
Starring:
Morgan Freeman Morgan Freeman
Kevin Spacey Kevin Spacey
Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake
LL Cool J LL Cool J
Dylan McDermott Dylan McDermott

5.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Upon discovering a den of corrupt policemen, a fresh-faced journalist makes shaky allies in a jaded reporter and investigator for a powerful district attorney. --IMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: August 18, 2007
What happened here?

Back when this film was in the pre-production phase, I was hearing tons of positive things about it. First off, it was Justin Timberlake's big acting debut, but the supporting cast was so phenomenal -- they really were the ones that made the film sound so enticing. Then, the film just died. No widespread release -- unheard of when you look at this pedigree cast. The film was dumped on DVD with a different name -- "Edison Force".

The film stars Justin Timberlake as Joshua Pollack, an aspiring reporter who is too lazy to do the work it takes to be a real journalist, though he can somehow afford a posh apartment that makes him look like a doctor. One day, while in court, he overhears an exchange between two people that starts him down the trail of a task force that stops crime before it happens...I think. This task force is led by Captain Tilman (John Heard), but features officers like L.L. Cool J and Dylan McDermott. Morgan Freeman stars as Moses Ashford, Pollack's editor and friend, and Kevin Spacey stars as Levon Wallace, and investigator who helps them out. Throw in Cary Elwes too.

Look at that cast -- Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, John Heard, Dylan McDermott, L.L. Cool J, Cary Elwes and Justin Timberlake. Straight to DVD release? What gives? The film -- about 1/4 of the way through. "Edison Force" is a film built on a shaky plot that never really takes off. We never fully understand what is going on with any of the characters and the film jumps around so much, we get lost and lose interest. Director David J. Burke doesn't seem to know what he's doing as a director, and the editing and cinematography are just about as poor. It felt like I was watching a cross between "Die Hard" and "Equilibrium". It just didn't work.

The talent here is also more than wasted. Morgan Freeman is given a role that could have been played by any actor out there, and probably should have been. His dialogue is forced and cliched and it sounds like it should be coming out of Danny Glover's mouth -- no offense to Mr. Glover. Kevin Spacey's role really doesn't even exist until halfway through the film, at which point he becomes just another tired old detective with nothing to do. All the money they spent on Spacey and Freeman could have been used for other purposes -- because they both just seem so wasted here. I guess Burke wanted it to be this big "Seven" reunion, but he needed to give them much better material to make that worthwhile.

In his acting debut, Justin Timberlake could be worse. Fortunately, I saw his wonderful work in both "Alpha Dog" and "Black Snake Moan" before this, so the fact that he's mediocre in this film doesn't hurt as bad. But, in some scenes, he is downright bad. I think he needs to stick with character roles and supporting parts, rather than the whole leading man thing. He's choosing decent roles, but this was way over his head. Not to mention he looks about fifteen-years-old -- far too young to be doing what he's doing here. Dylan McDermott has the most fun with his role and does a decent job with it, as does John Heard. Cary Elwes is Cary Elwes.

So, do I recommend "Edison Force"? Absolutely not. It's like four movies crammed into one, and none of them are really that interesting. Normally, I would say watch it just for Freeman and Spacey, but even they kind of disappointed me in this one for even signing on in the first place. David J. Burke seems the most likely suspect to take the blame for this film, and it's a shame more couldn't have come from it. It just needed a better script and maybe it would have gone somewhere. "Edison Force" feels like a big Hollywood movie, as made by some sophomore film student from the University of Connecticut. It feels forced. Edison forced.

2/10.
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ThunderStruck5a #1: ThunderStruck5a - added 08/22/2007, 03:34 PM
i saw this movie in my supermarkets bargain bin but passed it up. it looked like a good cast (though also a weird one since id never expect to see them together) but i figured something had to be wrong with it. good choice i guess.
QuietMan #2: QuietMan - added 08/29/2007, 09:58 AM
I remember hearing about this movie on MTV news while it was in post-production but then I didn't hear anything about it until today. I had actually forgotten the title but i'll look at that as a blessing since Meanie says it sucked so hard. What a shame, with a cast like that i could make "green eggs and ham: the movie" freakin awesome Burke missed a great chance.
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